Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Very Late Results For GCSD Elections

 
Voter Turnout Pathetically* Low!
Under 3,000 Voted!

By a vote of 1,846 to 997, Greece Central School District voters approved a $210,162,828 spending plan for the 2014-15 school year. The budget increases by 2.26% and carries a projected tax rate of $23.45 per $1,000 of assessed value.
 
By a vote of 1,795 in favor 1,036 against, voters also approved a bus purchase proposition that authorizes the district to replace 33 buses – twenty 66-passenger buses, six 20-passenger buses and seven 30-passenger buses – as well as one 8-passenger Suburban and one four-passenger car at a cost not to exceed $2,970,800.
 
 
In a five-way race for three seats on the Board of Education, voters selected incumbent Sean McCabe(1,604 votes), and newcomers Lisa Christoffel (1,557 votes) and Bill Maloney (1,519 votes) to fill seats left by outgoing Board member David Ferington and Joe Quirk, who opted not to run.
 
* And apathetically
 
Did They Cook The Election Results? 
Nothing reported until 11:45PM.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just two words describe the residents of the to town of greece, IGNORANT AND PATHETIC!!!
Notice no caps for the name of the town? Not an error, as we have lost our right to be so honored. We really have earned the right to the title of THE MISTAKE BY THE LAKE. A town of over 90K Sheepsters. Baaaah and Baaaaah humbug.

Anonymous said...

According to my sources at DO the new clerk made major changes to the votes processes because they hadn't been done correctly or legally in the past. As she has been known to do she pushed more work off on to the poll workers so it took more time to close the polls. Her new processes were the reason no one ever got to see the budget notice because she would not put it the Greece Post. That's probably a contributing factor to the low voter turn out. If you don't see something you can't know about it. Where was our budget notice published? Hilton had their notice in the Post but according to Barrows that isn't legal. If you're concerned about a "cooked" election ask to review the machine tapes from each polling location, any citizen has the right to do that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is a sign of the quality education when they can't count less than 3000 votes quickly. Other districts with as many votes had their results posted by 9:30 or 9:45.

Anonymous said...

I did not vote in the 2014 school budget proposal because I don't use the public education system and derive no benefit from it.

You people who use public education can spend as much of your money as you want, especially on ridiculously high administrative salaries like the school superintendent who under private contract is paid more money in salary and benefits than the Governor of New York.

The superintendent is a glorified public relations administrator that makes policy statements to convince Town of Greece residents that spending more of their hard earned money equals better education. That's a joke on the people.

It's time to get rid of the office of the superintendent as it is a waste of taxpayer money.

Your child attends a particular school within the district and that's where the administrative focus should be: at the school tier. The administrative organization of the district needs to be flattened down to each school and the principal held accountable to the school board.

If there is a problem with a particular school the principal of the school needs to step up and answer to the public not some high level overlord of the district.

Each of the highly educated school principals should meet with the other principals in the district and negotiate their respective school's budget for the fiscal year. That overall budget can be presented to the school board for approval.

This will work if people give it a chance.

Anonymous said...

How much does the cost per pupil increase?

Anonymous said...

One glaring fact that is abundantly clear with regards to yesterday's farce, is the relevance or lack thereof, of this blog site on matters of great importance to this town.
While managers of this site have tried their hardest to have a positive impact , their efforts have failed.
Regardless of the number of hits on this site, I think it would be fair to conclude that while this blog has been a huge success in terms of readership, nobody is listening and is not impacting their thinking on these important matters. This fact now begs the obvious question , WHY?
My personal opinion tells me that this site projects too much negativity and volumes of criticsim without one ounce of ideas to deal with the criticsim of topics of great importance posted here.
This in turn results in a large creditability gap associated with this blog. When this happens, readers will inevitably form their own opinion about information posted on this site. I believe this is the case in this instance.
While this comment was meant to be critical, I also would hope to attempt to make more like constructive
Criticism by encouraging site managers to modify the tone projected by their comments on topics posted by them.Given the obvious numbers reflecting readership,
A somewhat more positive attitude would do wonders for this successful blog, in terms of changing the perception that this site is nothing more than an avenue in which someone could express their anger and frustrations without expressing an idea asto how to fix a particular problem.
I truly believe if site managers took a more conciliatory and positive suggestive tone, relevancy will happen.

GreeceResident1 said...

Since my first post on eliminating the Office of the Superintendent was rejected from publication by the blogger owner, I will answer your diatribe by offering a different response. Perhaps this comment will be accepted by the blogger owner.

Like many of my fellow Town of Greece residents, I am one of the 40 percent or so that did not vote in the 2014 school budget proposal because I don't use the public education system and derive no benefit from it.

You call me pathetic and ignorant because I chose not to participate in the formality of the "budget vote" which is a sham since your money will still be spent on the public education system, just not as much. If you have children in the Greece public schools your vote on the budget means very little in terms of expenditures.

Where does your money go? It goes to pay the exorbitant compensation of your socialist dear leader, the school superintendent and the rest of the cadre of high priced administration with letters after their name.

If you want to continue to pay for the warm and fuzzy feeling that Greece has a public relations spokesperson like the rest of the school districts in Monroe County, feel free. But I don't and refuse to give the over bloated money pit of a school district my consent through the bias electoral process.

Anonymous said...

Most of the threads on this blog are directly related to news. Then the blogger gives personal insight and opinion. There doesn't seem to be an attempt to sway the readers' opinions. If they are swayed then so be it. Then the readers can either agree or disagree or in some cases offer new items to consider. Many times this blog has items that are not in dispute and have not yet been covered by the media. In these cases the news sources have to try to keep up. This is true for many of the more nationwide blogs. In the case of the lack of a prompt election result....Greece was about 2 hours later reporting than the other districts....maybe they didn't want to go to bed with scats reporting and giving opinion so they waited. Or maybe they are just not that efficient.
If the commenter has so much time to write and wants to be more "conciliatory" and "positive", the commenter is free to write their own blog. Have at it. This blog is doing just fine. It is after all a personal blog that is shared. It has morphed into something like a bulletin board but it is personal. And we like it because it keeps the local governments on their toes.

SCATS said...

To 6:34AM ~~ I'm not sure but APATHETIC seems to be on spot, too.

To 6:43AM ~~ Regarding the newspaper ad for the election: At a recent BOE meeting, they changed the papers where they would post the notices to the Rochester Business Journal & the Daily Record. I'm not sure the new choices meet the requirements of the law since I doubt that Greece residents are big subscribers/readers to either. The fact that Hilton retained the Greece Post doesn't tell me it's not legal to do so. SOMEONE needs to challenge this. Additionally, Greece has stopped mailing out ALL reminders to vote, including the card with polling place locations printed on it, despite the changes to those locations. They really don't want us to vote ;)

To 7:21AM ~~ You are correct! Greece was LAST to post for Monroe County. Maybe they couldn't do it using Common Core math ;)

To 9:27AM ~~ Although you might feel as though you "derive no benefit from" the election results, the FACT is that YOU WILL PAY FOR THE APPROVED BUDGET & PROPOSITION. I think you derive benefit when the kids in your town learn to read, print & add to do subtraction the Common Core way too ... especially if they EVER graduate.

To 10:15AM ~~ Methinks your ideas about what BLOG administration hopes to accomplish are not reality. When Auberger got reelected following the murder of his mistress, the shakedown of his PD AND his perjury on the witness stand, it became abundantly clear that Greece residents FEAR CHANGE more than they fear crime, corruption, immorality, high taxes and international media coverage about ridiculous and preventable scandals.

We are well aware of exactly WHAT this BLOG DOES accomplish: It pushes other media into covering stories that might otherwise NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY! It also gets attention brought to revisiting older items for follow up.

There are a MYRIAD of ways the politicians & powers that be have changed how they do things to attempt to keep news subverted. It's not really working for them.

Our "relevancy" is measured by site visits, Facebook discussions, comments posted here, new requests to become "friends" and private messages of support, information, ideas, etc.

SCATS said...

To 10:48AM (Greece Resident 1)~~ Your FIRST comment WAS PUBLISHED AND RESPONDED TO BY US! Some of you folks need to be patient, as we sift through MANY comments, emails & messages. It is a time-consuming process.

Regarding the Supt. ~~ I do not believe that position can ever be eliminated, because I think NY State Ed Law requires the office.

As for the PR person, YOU ARE ALSO PAYING FOR THAT PERSON ... AND THEIR POSITION COULD BE ELIMINATED.

To 10:49AM ~~ TY for your support. The media are definitely reading!!

GreeceResident1 said...

To SCATS at 11:03AM:

Well that's the nut of it then, Albany demands each district have a superintendent overlord.

So we as Greece residents are forced to enter into the bidding process and buy a "District CEO" and all the perks that go along with the position. And you wonder why people don't vote when we have little control over the excessive cost of the public education system in our town.

Let me give one example of wasted taxpayer dollars. Everyday during the school year I see full capacity school buses driving around the district nearly empty, not only going to school but departing from a school. They drive down my street followed by a line of private vehicles carrying their kids to the school.

Rarely is a school bus filled with school children with perhaps the exception of a sporting event. I'm expected to pay for this inefficiently used transportation system? It's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

SCATS,

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, and to thank everyone who voted for me. I acknowledge that this turned out to be an anybody-but-me election, with only 200 votes separating the top finisher from the fourth, but 600+ votes separating me from everyone else. Under the circumstances, the support that I did receive is gratefully appreciated.

I would like to point out that the apathy you mention started at, and is driven from, the top. Can you list all of the organizations that normally participate in these races in some way, but this year decided not to? The PTA having no candidate’s night, the Greece Post having no “interviews” (not even by email), the unions not inviting the candidates in for a chat, and so on. I even reached out, tried to meet with organizations on my own initiative. No dice.

I wish the board all the best, but I don’t expect good things. I want to be wrong about the direction that we’re going, but like everyone else who ran, I ran because I believe what I believe, and I believe that we are headed for trouble. The indicators are everywhere, at least to my eyes. Contracts are passed with “cost comparisons” that would be an embarrassment if turned in by a student in a quantitative methods class. Budgets are passed with 81-page glossy supporting documents that are chock full of disconnected facts with no integrating analysis. The organization is conforming to various formal reporting requirements, but not taking seriously the analysis that should back up the work. Folks might suggest that too much is being done in back rooms and concealed from the public, but I suspect a different cause: the underlying intellectual heavy lifting is simply not being done, not even behind closed doors. The external markers of analysis and understanding are totally missing.

Consider, for instance, the question of the budget and mandates. The current persistent high levels of spending are never defended in any terms other than deflecting blame to mandates. Yet I defy anyone to point to any line item in the budget that is only what is mandated, and no more than that. Nobody can, for the very natural reason that in everything we do, we do more than is mandated. That is not a bad thing; it would be suspicious if we only did the bare minimum in anything. But that being the case, we cannot honestly say that mandates determine the spending. We spend what we spend because we choose to, because there are goals and objectives that we want to pursue that require more than just meeting the mandates. In any of the budget materials just presented, can you find analysis that presents some specific minimum level of service mandated, the educational goals that we want to achieve that require going beyond the mandate, and the fraction of the spending that is above the mandate? You can’t find it, and I don’t believe that the reason is that it is being concealed. I believe that the analysis was never done. This sort of discipline in processes is what I wanted to bring to the board. It is hard work, and strictly speaking unnecessary (i.e. not mandated), but it pays off in myriad ways that cannot be enumerated in advance. The benefits of discipline just emerge as you go through the process of doing the heavy lifting.

Thanks again to everyone who supported me, and to the board: please prove me wrong. Show us that we are not headed for trouble, but that we are about to do great things. The best advice that I can offer you to help prove me wrong is that you should take seriously every process that you undertake, and every product that you publish. Never, ever, just check the box; never, ever, just treat reports or reporting requirements as hollow formalities. Everyone who accepted the cost comparison on the GASA contract as an excellent work product should hang their heads in shame. Everyone who accepted it as adequate for the purpose should raise their standards: mere adequacy should never be the standard, though it may sometimes be the outcome.

Kristo Miettinen

Anonymous said...

Looks like a mandate to me!

SCATS said...

To Kristo ~~ When I get some time, I want to share some insights with you. In many ways, we are on the SAME page!

Anonymous said...

As Stalin said,
Who votes does not matter.
Who counts the votes MATTERS.

The entire area in and around Monroe County PASSED every Budget and extra yesterday with very low voter turnout.

Apathy WORKS.

SCATS said...

To 3:44PM ~~ Actually, West Irondequoit FAILED to get the 60% approval they needed for exceeding the tax cap.

Anonymous said...

Greece resident 1 Correct me if I'm wrong but even though you don't participate in the Greece Educational System and using that for an excuse not to vote , you still pay school taxes as a Greece resident . Therefore you still have a stake in the outcome of a budget vote relative to your school tax bill. Right?
I'm sorry you took my STUPID remark so personal as it was meant as a general personal concept, opinion and my view of ALL residents not necessarily you. By the way, you are not one of the 40% or so who did not vote but in reality one of the 83% of eligible voters who did not vote.
In light of this and other circumstances, I standby my original comment

GreeceResident1 said...

Dear Anonymous at 6:51pm – Part 1

Like many of my peers who are property owners in Greece, I am exempt from paying school taxes due to my age, property value and income. Do I feel guilty about not paying school tax? Absolutely not. No resident should be forced to pay for a public service they do not use. But since you raised the issue of taxes let's discuss it, shall we?

As a property owner I pay county and town taxes for the maintenance of shared services such as but not limited to: public highways, sanitary and storm sewers, municipal water, street lighting, law enforcement, the court system, fire service, parks and recreation and the library system. Like the majority of residents I use these services and therefore I morally, ethically and legally must pay my fair share which I do with little complaint.

But the public education system is an entirely separate service use by a minority of people within our town because school funds have been a mandate for New York ever since it was incorporated into the State Constitution in 1821. Over the decades the people of New York have relinquished their right to decide on the educational needs of its citizens and deferred it to unelected bureaucrats. These Albany centered administrators have created a crony system based upon the same corporate business model used in private industry to enrich themselves at the expense of property owners who are forced to pay school taxes.

Think about this irrefutable fact; there are over 14 school districts within Monroe County, each one has a highly paid district superintendent many of whom are paid more in compensation and benefits than the Governor of New York. I ask you, how can that possibly occur? It happens because these unelected bureaucrats in Albany require the people in each district to hire these executives under private contract. Do you remember Steve Walt’s administration? Need I bring up those painful memories of bureaucratic waste and abuse put upon property owners in our town?

School taxes are the most egregious financial burden put upon the backs of property owners, most of whom are forced to pay it. It is an unfair tax since not all residents who use the GCSD (Greece Central School District) pay such as parents who rent and not own property. Yet property owners who have no children in school and derive no benefit from GCSD have to pay the majority of the tax. In a representative democracy the plural majority vote rules but that is waived when it comes to schools.

We are being systematically impoverished by the abuses heaped upon us by the public education system mandated by State government. We are denied the right to vote for or against these education bureaucrats in Albany, we are denied the right to vote to approve or disapprove the school board’s selection for superintendent, we are denied the right to veto a line item on the proposed budget, we are denied the right to impeach the school board without approval from the czar of public education in Albany.

The local voting process with regard to public education is a sham. We elect school board members and trust they will represent the taxpayer but more often than not they rubberstamp the superintendent’s budget under the pretense of, ‘it’s for the children’. They at least need to assume a line item veto authority so that we as residents don’t wind up paying for another grand piano.

-- Part 2 to follow --

GreeceResident1 said...

Dear Anonymous at 6:51pm – Part 2

Finally, let me express to you the power of not voting. Yes, you read it correctly the power to abstain from giving credibility and legitimacy to a wasteful system of tax revenue. By not casting my vote I exercise the authority of the absolute majority who by not voting, count as a moral ‘no vote’. I refuse to acknowledge this mockery of the local election process with respect to the GCSD’s ever increasing millstone around my neck.

I realize part of State tax revenue goes to feeding the public education animal and that I have no control over those expenditures. But locally I do have control and I wield it as much as legally allowed. If you wish to increase the funding for the GCSD beast regardless if your forced taxation yields a measurable value manipulated by creative accounting and reporting, feel free to do as you wish. After all, it’s your money not mine.

--- End of long post ---

SCATS said...

To GreeceResident1 ~~ I hope you are aware that by winning the property tax exemption trifecta, there are many of us that will be burdened by having to make up for your share AND many of us also have no children in the schools.

GreeceResident1 said...

Dear SCATS at 12:48pm

You willingly choose to serve the primary education Gods by wearing the yoke of oppressive school taxes when you proselytize and perpetuate the myth of this flawed system of learning and the distended funding that goes along with it. How sad I feel for you: not!

You need to wake up and realize that you like the other 'village people' are being played for dolts by these high priced contract executives who wow you with their doublespeak on the benefits of their leadership for little Johnny and Suzy's education. If only, only you'll give us just a wee bit more of your hard earned money every school year. Is that too much to ask?

You must be the type that is easily mesmerized when the Superintendent of Deception throws up a PowerPoint slide that shows a two dimension graph comparing the progress of your child’s learning in relation to the amount of ever increasing tax revenue needed to guarantee their bright future. Up, up and up we go, isn’t it grand? Why they’ll be so ready to achieve their baccalaureate in bovine study when they go on to the next level of the for profit education industry: college!

SCATS said...

To 3:15PM ~~ TY for proving that you know NOTHING about me! lol

Anyone who has followed this BLOG for any length of time already knows I'm fully awake, aware and unimpressed by the BOE, District Office & the Supt.

I still stand behind my previous comments :) Folks like YOU cost people like me (kids) and my neighbors (no kids) to pay YOUR share in OUR tax bills. It's as simple as that.

SCATS said...

To the person who is writing lengthy comments related to SCATS' mission, relevance, etc ~~ I'm NOT the topic of discussion here. I'm sorry you don't like how things are handled. You can choose to NOT READ. You can choose TO GET YOUR OWN BLOG. But you CAN'T PUSH YOUR ANALYSIS DOWN MY THROAT. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

When I had kids in the district, I voted every year because there were constant reminders through the school, and, even though I am affected as a taxpayer, I was more affected as a parent. Since my kids have graduated, my motivation is not as strong to learn the issues. As a result,I vote about half the time.

So I wonder what percentage of the 2,843 voters have kids in Greece schools. I bet well more than half.

I have been here long enough to remember how contentious things were between CARE and parents. That drove turnout, I think. I don't miss those days but I am guilty of caring less as a result.

SCATS said...

To 10:19AM ~~ With turnout this low, I'm pretty sure it was mostly school employees already in the buildings, or parents at school for some other reason, too.